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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Good, the Gross, the Disorderly

Harbor+Point
Harbor Point

A freshman imagining college probably conjures up axioms like “freedom from parents,” “figuring out who you are,” and “party, party, party!” This is all well and good, but first you need a decent place to live. Since UMass Boston doesn’t provide housing, you need to choose one of several nearby housing options. These include The Peninsula, Harbor Point, and lesser-known alternative Savin Hill. Many students choose Harbor Point, or HP for short. Its nearest building is a mere 150 yards from campus. It offers convenience and is slightly cheaper than the Peninsula, which is similarly close to campus. Like all apartments or dorms, there are upsides and downsides to life in HP. First, the good: Location, location, location! In addition to being right next to campus, HP is right next to the harbor. The views of Boston lit up at night are beautiful, especially as the flashing lights of incoming airplanes fly over the harbor. There is a 38 mile paved walkway bordering the complex that’s perfect for running, biking, or walking. It’s not a dorm, so you can do whatever you want within reason. You can say up late, you can be reasonably loud, you can have your own room, bathroom, a queen sized bed, kitchen, closet, desk, living room – it’s an apartment, not a dorm. Real life lives in apartments; therefore, it has real life amenities. Next, the disorderly: your neighbors can also do whatever they want. Here’s a specific example: there was once a party above my apartment. The party raged until 3AM. This party had many loud people, lots of loud music, and some sort of horns. Horns? At 3AM?! On a Thursday?!? Here’s what you do if it happens to you: call HP’s purported “24-hour courtesy patrol officers” (bold is mine, as if security isn’t a right!) Tell them about the party: “I don’t care if they keep partying, I just want the horns to stop!” They will promise to “take a look.” The party continues on, with the horns, without any sign that anybody tried to intervene. Of course, the problem is that successes of security go unnoticed. For example, I did not get shot yesterday. Success! Their failures are not masked by blatant triumphs, so I won’t bash them without a grain of sympathy. But, be careful. Officers drive on the sidewalks that wrap around Harbor Point. If you feel an SUV lurking behind you where no SUV should be, double check. It could be HP security. Finally, the gross: the apartments are clean when you get them, but people are messy. Much of what stinks up an apartment is nothing building employees can control (be careful, funneling PBR gets messy). However, they can control things like mold, mildew, the working condition of the toilet, whether or not you have a light in your bathroom, and readily promote these on the tours they give to incoming freshman. The light fixture in my bathroom was out for 3 weeks before they finally sent someone to fix it. We had to threaten to abstain from paying rent. Also, to answer a question that will likely come up during your stay in HP: no, there is no recycling. All those ambitions of being environmentally friendly died in the dumpsters “conveniently located within walking distance of all buildings.” Perhaps implementing a recycling program in HP is too much for Corcoran Jennison, the owner, developer, and parent company of HP. The company has developed $2.5 billion worth of real-estate and supports only 24,000 residential units country-wide, but those little green recycling bins are expensive. That said, overall Harbor Point is a decent place to live. It is relatively safe, quiet most of the time, and well maintained outside the apartments. Its nearness to the school is an asset. If you want a quick walk to school and decent facilities, it could be a good place for you like it has been for me.